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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wis. clinic warns of possible disease exposures to HIV, Hepatitis B and C!

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By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press / Aug 29, 6:55 PM EDT.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Madison-based clinic is trying to track down hundreds of patients after a nurse apparently spent years improperly using diabetic injection devices on them, potentially exposing them to blood-borne diseases such as HIV.

Dean Clinic officials on Monday began trying to contact by phone and letter 2,345 patients who saw the nurse between 2006 and when she left her job two weeks ago. They want the patients to come in for testing for HIV as well as hepatitis B and C. State and local health officials said they're monitoring the situation, but no one had detected any diseases connected to the nurse as of late Monday afternoon.

The clinic's chief medical officer, Dr. Mark Kaufman, said the nurse is a certified diabetic educator. Her job called for her to train newly-diagnosed diabetics on how to inject insulin and test their blood sugar levels.

Clinic officials declined to identify the nurse.

Earlier this month, another clinic employee reported that the nurse was improperly using a device known as an insulin demonstration pen, which resembles a large hypodermic needle and injects insulin into the bloodstream, as well as a more widely-known finger prick device for blood tests, Kaufman said.

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